Sunday, January 13, 2013

A step closer...

I got the axle out. The seal was just really stuck; I had to stick a screwdriver in at C and hit it with a hammer. I have to order that online, so I went ahead and put in an order for all of the other seals you are supposed to change any time you pull the axle and locking hub. And as long as I am waiting anyway, I ordered a set of XRF ball joints off of ebay. I hear good and bad about them off the forums, but I got tired of trying to dig through and find "the best" ball joints. They have to be better than the cheap set I was going to install from O'Reilly.

In other news...
My wife and I went to a dollar cinema the other day and found a Chinese grocery nearby afterward. It turned out to be Korean/Mexican, but still useful. One of the things we picked up for me was a large package of corn tortillas. I enjoy corn tortillas every so often, but my wife normally buys flour, which I also enjoy; alternation is the key. (Although why are the burrito tortillas so small, while fajita is large? Burritos are wrapped; how are you supposed to do that with the small ones?)
Anyway, my wife doesn't want to buy flour ones for me again until I finish the corn ones. So I finally told her the other day that I'm not eating the corn ones unless they are cooked my way, and if she won't do it, I will. So, I got "uncensored" tacos tonight. See, Katherine wants to keep me healthy or something, and won't let me get a lot of grease or oil if she can help it. So my "tacos" have been with microwave-steamed tortillas. Works great for the flour ones, but leaves the corn ones with something to be desired. When I was growing up, the way we ate tacos was with the tortillas cooked in a frying pan of grease. Not crunchy, just enough that the tortillas got hot and soggy with grease. My wife has been keeping me from cooking them that way, hence the "censoring". But they sure are good.

Of course, we were out of salsa. But, I had a solution; we grew a bunch of jalapeños this year in our raised bed gardens. I pickled a couple of jars and gave the rest away. One jar, I used pickling spice, since my wife bought some (I had "pickling salt" on her list, and she misinterpreted it), and just vinegar and such in the other. I didn't like the pickling spiced ones, as they were too sweet. As to the others, I didn't know if I liked them or not; see, I don't normally eat jalapeños at all. Every once in a while added to my Whataburger is about all, and I don't do that often enough to know for sure what they are supposed to taste like by themselves, especially with all the mustard and such on the burgers. So I took them to a friend's house, and they said they tasted right. I gave them the spiced ones outright, and let them pour off half the unspiced ones.

I shouldn't have done that; I've started eating them on stuff, like my chili, my tacos tonight, etc. They're really good. Now, I could go down to the store and buy some more and pickle them, or even just buy a jar pre-pickled, but it wouldn't be the same. I'll just have to wait until next year, I suppose.

Speaking of which, Lowe's sells a "Taco Garden" during the growing season; it has tomatoes, lettuce, jalapeños, and cilantro. But to me, that's not a taco garden; a true taco garden would need to also have corn, onion, cumin and other seasonings, etc. And the lot next to it would have to have a steer. That's what I want; it's not "home made" unless you really made it all at home. Granted, it's probably not a goal I'll ever meet, but we're moving toward it with our lake property. So, has anyone out there done it? Are there any self-sufficient homesteaders that have truly made a taco from scratch? Grown your own vegetables, dried your corn, ground it to meal, made your tortillas, slaughtered your steer and ground your own meat? Cooked it on a wood-fired stove? Of course, other fuel would work; peat if you have it on your property, dried dung from the steer, solar. Even natural gas would work, but only if you're running your own well, not siphoning it off a leased pipe that the leaser is pumping. (Or do they even pump gas? If not, siphoning it off their pipes, with permission, would be perfectly fine. After all, I'm not discounting wood stoves just because you didn't mine the ore and cast your own stove.)

Let me know, I'd love to hear about it, and I'm sure others would as well.

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